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Researchers to Explore Louth/Meath Coastal Area For Wind Farm Development

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Researchers to Explore Louth/Meath Coastal Area For Wind Farm Development

Researchers to Explore Louth/Meath Coastal Area For Wind Farm Development
December 17
12:17 2019

A team led by iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre for Applied Geosciences based at University College Dublin, has been awarded government funding to research suitable locations for new offshore wind farms in the Irish sea. The iCRAG team will be assessing seabed suitability for offshore wind farms in the Louth/Meath coastal area.

iCRAG project lead Dr Mark Coughlan said: “The funding we have been awarded by the Government will support us to develop new site investigation techniques and help de-risk future locations for offshore wind farms in the Irish sea. I am hopeful the Louth/Meath coastal area will be a viable location for wind farm development, given the level of commercial interest currently in the area.

“Recent examples from the UK show there remain significant technical challenges in developing wind farms, including issues like shallow bedrock and seabed sediment dynamics. Our role as researchers is to use our understanding of the seabed and its physical properties to help assess whether a location is suitable for wind farm infrastructure. This vital research helps to ensure wind farms that are developed can operate effectively, and cost efficiently, as a renewable energy source

“Offshore wind energy can play a key role in helping Ireland reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. But we need to redouble our efforts to invest in offshore wind energy to utilise its full potential as a renewable energy supply. Currently, there is only one offshore wind farm in Ireland. Countries like Belgium and the Netherlands are seeing the benefits of investing in offshore wind – and Ireland can too.”

The iCRAG team was awarded €150,000 in funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland as part of the Government’s plan to move Ireland to net zero emissions by 2050. The research project will be carried out by iCRAG  in conjunction with industry partners, Apex Geophysics. The team plans to start examining the suitability of the Louth/Meath coastal area for wind farm development early in the New Year.

Under the same funding call iCRAG team members were part of a successful consortium, led by industry partners Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions, that was awarded €560,00 to carry out an additional seabed probing campaign in the Irish Sea to provide geotechnical data used to efficiently design wind turbine foundations.

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